Mr Giandomenico Massari, Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Cross River and Akwa Ibom Branch, has said a productive manufacturing sector still remained the catalyst for the growth of any country’s economy.
Massari made the assertion in Calabar, saying revival of the manufacturing sector was what Nigeria required to move to the next level.
Speaking on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the association, the branch chairman said that more attention and support from the government in terms of policies was necessary to speed up industrialization of the economy.
According to him, although the association is celebrating its 50 years of existence in the country, manufacturing in Nigeria is not yet where it ought to be.
“We are still striving to get more attention and support from the government in terms of policies that will be favourable to manufacturing in the country and enable us move to the next level.
“The government and every citizen of Nigeria need to know that it is manufacturing that can help us create more jobs, enhance the capacity of Nigerians and bring a lot of benefits vital to the economy of the nation, ” he said.
Massari also appealed to Nigerians to have a change of mindset and start patronising its locally manufactured goods, many of which were of very good quality.
In his remarks, the Secretary of the association, Mr Klinton Offiong said it had faced peculiar challenges in both states, which were surmountable only if the government intervened.
According to Offiong, government should pay more attention to the manufacturers and assist them because they help in absorbing a large number of the unemployed in society.
“Government at all levels should make the operating environment comfortable for manufacturers by ensuing that there is a harmonised tax system where every tax payer knows what he has to pay annually and not suffer multiple taxation.
“Also the road linking Cross River and Akwa Ibom is in a very terrible state and a lot of losses are incurred by manufacturers daily, on account of the deplorable state of that road. We need government assistance there too,” he said.
Mr Osidipe Oluwasegun, Director Research and Advocacy Support, MAN, said poor electricity, congestion of the ports and inability to access Forex as and when due had been some of the major challenges for manufacturers in Nigeria
Oluwasegun said that all the challenges put together affect the capacity utilisation of any manufacturer, making manufacturing more difficult.
According to him, the resilience of its members in spite of the challenging economic climate in the country was laudable.